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Girl Meets World Meets Happy Parent

Updated on September 30, 2016
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more daily than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies and LGBT advocacy.

Young, strong feminists meeting the world


Yes, it's a show, but...

God, I love Girl Meets World.

The two lead characters, Maya and Riley, are as tight as sisters and they show girls everywhere that family can be found wherever you choose to find it. They deal with the really sticky stuff that kids - and sometimes just girls - deal with all the time, and as someone with two girls a little bit younger than the characters on Girl Meets World, I'm grateful for the fact that there's such positive programming on television right now.

It's intelligent programming, too. For once, we have a television show that doesn't pander to audiences, or become stereotypical, and it doesn't make the parents seem like morons who are completely unaware of what's happening in their kids' lives. It also doesn't make the parents seem detached, either; Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel) are very caring to their two kids and their friends, which is an amazing change to the family shows that have lately shown up.

What's really awesome about Girl Meets World is the nuances of the relationship between Maya and Riley itself. These girls respect each other for who they are, and have done so for a very long time. Viewers have been watching weekly, and have seen the history of the relationship that has developed since Maya first crawled into Riley's bay window. Most people have appreciated the development of the relationship between the girl, but what has been striking has also been the how those girls relate to the boys in their lives, Farkle and Lucas - and now, Zay.

The relationship the girls have is not diminished by their relationship with these boys; in fact, their relationship is made stronger for it. These boys are there and supporting the girls through whatever issues might be occurring, whether it's Maya trying to figure out who she really is now that she's transitioned to high school or Riley trying to determine what her feelings really are for Lucas.

Riley admitted just this past week that the relationship she has with Maya is her one "extraordinary" relationship, and how cool is it that two fourteen year olds have said that to each other?

It's not about the guy they liked, it's not about the petty crap that occurs sometimes at school - it's about genuinely being there for each other and realizing what they actually have in each other, and that is an extraordinary lesson for girls these days to learn.

In a world where girls are cutting each other down on social media, where there is so much competition and one upmanship to get the ideal boyfriend or girlfriend, or just incredible drama that occurs without even fully appreciating when or how it started, Girl Meets World is, at its heart, an incredible show with a cast that clearly cares for each other and for the message it's sending to its viewers. It's messaging for girls and women in particular is incredibly powerful, and I, for one, am thrilled.

Pretty much the look on my face when a new GMW comes on


The "Girl Meets World" Theme - by Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter

Why do I love "Girl Meets World?" I'm in my 40s, for God's sake!

What makes Girl Meets World work so well for me is a couple of things.

First of all, the chemistry between the kids and the adults is brilliant. You could almost picture these parents being parents to the children they're responsible for on screen.

Also, Farkle is a wonderful, sensitive, intelligent delight. He's not obnoxious about the intellect - sure, when the show first started, he was probably designed to be the somewhat obnoxious intellect that was best friends with the girls, but now, he's developed into a poetic soul that really has gone beyond the initial "I need to see it to believe it" scientist that he was in season 1. I love that kid, and Corey Fogelmanis has done an incredible job playing him.

I love the writing and the fact that the writers have taken on such real topics as bullying, autism, and just simply finding yourself makes the writers' room an incredibly inspiring place. I'd love to sit in for even just an hour to see what these guys and girls come up with and in what direction they take the characters for that particular episode.

I love Cory, Topanga, Shawn and Katy, and Lucas and Zay, but for me, the absolute heart of the show is the relationship between Maya and Riley. Through those two, my girls are learning even further about loyalty, love and just life in general. Sure, I'm trying to teach my girls those same lessons, but let's face it - I'm Mom, and they won't always listen to me.

The show is incredibly compelling, the storyline moving, and you just can't help but fall in love with these two girls and how complex they are. Though I understand that these girls are saying the words that the writers have put in front of them in the form of the weekly script, the girls have breathed life into Riley and Maya, and I could almost picture having these two in my own English and French classes when school starts up again in the fall.

Bottom line: Girl Meets World is helping me and my girls get a newer perspective on what it means to be a girl in the 21st century, and in many ways, a strong feminist. I am grateful that this show came on air; thanks, Disney.

Girl Meets I Do

The Heart of Girl Meets World



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